Photo courtesy UTEP
DALLAS – UTEP volleyball’s Serena Patterson was named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week by the league office on Monday afternoon after her performance against Marshall.
This is the first conference honor for the outside hitter, and the first offensive player of the week for UTEP since 2013 (Xitlali Herrera – 10/21/13).
“Serena (Patterson) has really grown as an attacker in the past two months, and the game is starting to slow down for her,” Head Coach Ben Wallis said. “I’m proud of her growth, and I tell her all the time that she’s just scratching the surface of what she can be. There was not a six rotation outside hitter here when my staff got here. Because of the way the roster is constructed we have forced her into that role, and she is starting to understand the complexities of what it takes to play the position at a high level.”
The sophomore was dominant against the Thundering Herd, posting 16 kills and boosting the Miners to a sweep over Marshall.
Patterson was hyper efficient with her swings, as she produced a .325 hitting percentage on 40 swings. She also recorded her sixth double-double of the season, adding a team-high 13 digs to her stat line.
The Red Oak, Texas, native joins Irbe Lazda as Miners who have earned conference recognition this season.
“This is not only a testament to the hard work that our staff has put in trying to grow her as a volleyball player,” Wallis stated. “More importantly it is testament to the work she’s put in learning by watching the video, getting in the reps in practice and fixing her struggles to understand how to score when there’s two people in front of her, which is what the great outsiders have to do. As long as she matches her athleticism with the learning and leans on her teammates to get her through the tough times she will be great. Being an outside hitter is sometimes like a cornerback in football. You’re on an island by yourself and you just have to sort through the pressure in the stress of it, and she’s doing much better job of that this year.”
Patterson has been a force over the past four matches. She has 47 kills on a .345 hitting clip, and the Miners are 3-1 in this span. Her 3.62 kills per set and scorching-hot hitting percentage has taken the Miners offense to a new level.
UTEP travels to take on No. 23 WKU (23-1, 9-0) and Southern Miss (1-22, 0-9) this weekend. The Orange and Blue will be looking to the reigning C-USA Offensive Player of the Week to help give them the edge.
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